WASHINGTON, Dec. 18 (Xinhua) -- U.S. aerospace and defense manufacturer Lockheed Martin said on Tuesday that it had delivered the first Long Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM) to operational units in U.S. Air Force.

The Maryland-based high-tech company said the LRASM is a precision-guided, anti-ship missile "designed to detect and destroy specific targets within groups of ships", signaling that LRASM could punch through the defense of a hostile navy battle group and hit the well-protected flagship like an aircraft carrier.

The missiles are manufactured using stealth technology, making them nearly "invisible" to enemy radars. This feature would allow the missiles to achieve a significantly higher success rate to penetrate enemy defenses, according to military analysts.

The company said that the air-launched variant of LRASM, which was integrated onboard the U.S. Air Force's B-1B long range bomber, had already achieved early operational capability (EOC).

The company said its LRASM would play a significant role in ensuring U.S. military access to operate in the ocean, owing to its ability to "discriminate and conduct tactical engagements from extended ranges".

Moreover, the company said its LRASM was on schedule to achieve EOC on the U.S. Navy's F/A-18E/F jet fighter in 2019, which means a U.S. aircraft carrier fleet would have the capability to commence attacks with stealth missiles.